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Link – Dabo Swinney says talking Urban Meyer uncertainty may have helped recruit Jackson Carman

So at the end of the day even dear, sweet, Mr. “Aww shucks” himself will get down in the mud and play dirty if it means getting a prized recruit.

“Dabo Swinney said he may have discussed Ohio State coach Urban Meyer’s future with five-star recruit Jackson Carman as part of the recruiting process, and Carman said the suggestion that Meyer might not stay with the Buckeyes much longer was a factor in his decision to sign with the Tigers on Wednesday.”

Major college football is a dirty business, there aren’t any innocents.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/21827535/dabo-swinney-says-talking-urban-meyer-uncertainty-helped-recruit-jackson-carman

Photo by Ken Lund

Playoff Chaos Again, But Will Ohio State Lose Out?

Field View from Press BoxAfter yesterdays losses by 3 of the top 4 teams in the College Football Playoff rankings, things are pretty much a mess. As it stands right now, we have unbeaten Alabama, and everyone else.

Which, is kind of what we thought we had, but with 3 other Big 5 conference teams also undefeated, the playoff picture seemed pretty simple. Now, it’s really not.

Given Ohio State’s 5th place ranking before yesterday, I’ve seen a lot of Buckeye fans celebrating, but I wouldn’t be so sure. Yes, this week OSU should get into the top 4, but can they stay there?

First, obviously, they have to beat Michigan State and Michigan.

Then, things get interesting. Unless Penn State somehow loses to either Rutgers or Michigan State, they will win the Eastern Division. They will go on to play in the Big ten Championship game, while Ohio State sits around waiting to see what happens.

Here’s the challenge. There has not yet been a team in the final four that did not win it’s conference, and for Ohio State to become the first, they need to be clearly better than two of the conference champs, and every other one-loss team.

That could be a problem.

  • Let’s assume one spot goes to Alabama.
  • Let’s also assume a one-loss Clemson wins the ACC and gets a spot.
  • Out West, if Washington wins the PAC12 with one loss? I think they’re golden.
  • In the Big 12, any of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State (2 losees each), or West Virginia (1 loss) could win it.
  • In the Big 10, Penn State may wind up playing 2 loss Wisconsin for the title.
  • Louisville could also be sitting out there with one loss.

Are you so sure the committee will still see Ohio State as one of the top four?

If Penn State wins the conference, I think they get in over OSU, they won the conference and beat them head to head. In that case, I think 11-2 beats 11-1. Wisconsin would be a tougher call, does the committee value winning the conference, or OSU’s OT win over Wisconsin? Either way, I’m not feeling super confident that OSU gets in over the winner of their own conference.

That means OSU has to be clearly better than the PAC12 and Big12 winners, and hope the committee values their SOS more than Louisville, who may only have a close loss to another playoff team on it’s resume, just like Ohio State would if PSU wins the conference and gets into the playoff.

If you’re a Buckeye fan, here’s what you’re rooting for:

  • A Louisville loss to Houston, or a Clemson loss in the ACC championship.
  • Washington State or USC to win the PAC12. Preferably as a 3 loss team!
  • Oklahoma to win the Big!2 – That early, dominate, win in Norman would be hard for the committee to ignore.

See how much simpler the path to the playoff was before Michigan lost? We can’t ever count on them… 😉

Do you think OSU gets in? How do you think this will play out over the next three weeks?

What Bowl Season Taught Us

skeeze / Pixabay

First, Alabama and Clemson gave us a great National Championship game. No complaints there.

The semi final games, on the other hand? Ugh…

Speaking of those games, a few things that those results, and others, confirmed for me.

  • Ohio State clearly just blew their shot. I’m not going to argue that they deserved to be in the playoff when they didn’t even win their division in the Big Ten. But, talent-wise, they were so much better than either Michigan State or Iowa, and the bowl results showed us that, IMHO. I’m still not convinced that loss to Michigan State was on the up and up. 😉
  • I was all set to write about how overrated the Big 12 was, based on most of the top teams just getting creamed, and then Oregon blew a 31 point lead to TCU. Outside of that, however, there is some weakness there.
  • On that note, has there ever been a team as good as Oregon with their starting QB, and alternatively as bad as Oregon without him? Fun conversation for the off season, how much did Vernon Adams health not only mess up Oregon’s season, but also any chance the PAC-12 had of getting a team into the playoffs? If he’s healthy all year, does Oregon get in? If he had not been healthy when they played Stanford, does Stanford get in?
  • The SEC redeemed itself after flubbing up bowl season last year. Well, except Florida. I’m not surprised by that. The SEC obviously has a ton of really good teams, and had favorable matchups this year that they didn’t have last year. (see also, the second bullet about the Big 12. There were a few mismatches between SEC and Big 12 schools.)
  • Houston handing Florida State a beat down was the one game that made me stand up and take notice. A nice win for Tom Herman, but it kind of reminded me of some other bowl games where a “marquee” program just doesn’t show up on a lower bowl game too. It happens every few years, at least.

What was your biggest take away from the bowl season?

Link – Why are the playoff semifinals on New Year’s Eve again?

I had wondered about this myself, and just assumed it had something to do with TV or avoiding Friday night, or something silly like that, but I never imagined it was actually being controlled by the other bowl games. How ridiculous is that?

As a West Coast resident myself, the games wouldn’t necessarily interfere with any plans I might have to ring in the New Year, but the Oklahoma – Clemson game will start at 1PM on a work day. Fabulous! 😉

Why are the playoff semifinals on New Year’s Eve again?

Link – Dabo Swinney delivers fiery on-field speech at halftime with Clemson leading 42-0

“Despite Clemson’s brilliant performance, coach Dabo Swinney was not happy at halftime — and gave a passionate speech which was partially broadcasted by ESPN. Swinney kept his players on the field and told them to “win with class and lose with class.””

Gotta respect Dabo for this. Would be easy, given the U’s history, to understand why his players were getting involved in trash-talking and shoving with Miami players, but he expects more from them.

Dabo Swinney delivers fiery on-field speech at halftime with Clemson leading 42-0 | For The Win